Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Charges dropped against four Rizzuto family mobsters

In a surprise development at the Montreal courthouse on Wednesday, the Crown decided to not proceed with a series of firearms-related cases filed against alleged Mafia leader Antonio “Tony” Mucci and three other people.
Prosecutor VĂ©ronique Beauchamp announced the decision Wednesday, which was scheduled to be the first of six days set to deal with a motion concerning Philippe Paul, a former Montreal police detective who retired last year while he is being investigated by the RCMP.
The motion was intended as a chance for the defence to challenge the credibility of information supplied by Paul, who is one of the investigators in the Mucci case.
Beauchamp did not say why the Crown has decided not to proceed with the trial. She said the Crown won’t file an official indictment, which is required at the start of any trial. The decision means Mucci and the others aren’t acquitted and can be charged at a later date.
Defence lawyer Claude Olivier said afterward that he does not know why the cases were dropped, but that he believes it involved his motion concerning Paul.
“My opinion is it can’t be any other thing,” Olivier said.
In the defence motion, which was filed last year, Olivier stated that the prosecution planned to enter the search warrants carried out when Mucci and the others were arrested into evidence. He states that it was already his intention to contest the motives behind the search warrants and claimed information used to obtain them contains “falsities and omissions.”
But then, on Jan. 29, 2014, the Montreal police confirmed Paul had been assigned to lesser duties while he was being investigated, reportedly by the RCMP and another government agency. Paul is being investigated for allegedly leaking information to someone outside of the police force.
Olivier included that development in his motion and argued it called into question the credibility of information used to obtain the warrants.
According to the motion, two of Paul’s sources supplied information used to obtain the warrants. He also was “present or in charge of the majority” of the surveillance and tailing operations the police did while they investigated Mucci.
Paul has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
At the beginning of April, the Montreal police announced he was suspended without pay and Paul reportedly retired two days later.
The case involving the firearms dates to Aug. 26, 2010, when Mucci, 60, was arrested while the Montreal police sought to arrest anyone they believed might be armed while rival factions in the Mafia were involved in an internal conflict.
Mucci faced ten charges in all, including the illegal possession of bear repellent, a Taser-like weapon and a sawed-off shotgun.
Two men, who the police alleged were acting as Mucci’s bodyguards as he moved in and around Montreal — Jesse Petrocco, 25, and Carmine Serino, 46 — faced charges related to firearms seized when the police arrested Mucci. Beauchamp announced the Crown will not proceed with charges in their cases as well as that of Tania Melissa Di Luigi, 33, a woman who was arrested at the same residence as Serino and was accused of possessing a Colt firearm the police found on the premises.



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